German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


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Special Events 2015

15 December (6:30pm)

Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture
Lutz Raphael: Life Cycle and Industrial Work. West German and West European Patterns in Times of Globalization (1975-2005)

The lecture presents some of Professor Raphael’s ongoing research on the social history of the working classes in West Germany, France and Britain in times of de-industrialisation since the late 1970s. De-industrialisation was by no means a uniform outcome of a global evolutionary trend towards a new economy based essentially on service industries, but it was rather different forms of mixed economies which emerged along different national trajectories combining the manufacturing and distribution of goods, services and knowledge. The lecture will explore how and why these various changes affected the life cycles of industrial workers differently in West Germany and Britain between 1975 and 2000. It will examine the specific effects of, for example,  higher levels of unemployment, greater job insecurity or the loss of traditional working skills on gender, age or ethnic differences.

The Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the GHIL and the International History Department of the LSE and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. 

Listen to this lecture (MP3 download, 59 min, 38 MB)
Watch the video of this lecture (this link will take you to the Gerda Henkel Stiftung website)

19 September (10am - 2pm)

Open House

This year, for the first time, the German Historical Institute takes part in Open House London, the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design. Originally constructed in the later seventeen century, 17 Bloomsbury Square, a Grade II listed building, was remodelled by John Nash c1777-8. Highlights include an Adam-style ceiling on the 1st floor and a beautiful staircase with wrought-iron balustrade. Once home to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, since 1982 it houses the German Historical Institute. The Institute will be open on Saturday 19 September between 10am and 2pm. There will be guided tours every half hour.

10 September to 13 November 2015

Things We Keep

A new Exhibition at the German Historical Institute London

What do a jam pot, a fountain pen, a house number plaque and a mixer tap have in common? All these things have been brought to Britain by German immigrants and expats. And all these things will be on show in autumn at „Things We Keep“, an exhibition at the German Historical Institute London.

More information

4 June 2015 (6pm)

Panel Discussion: Negotiating the Nazi Model: The Internationalization of Nazi Labour and Social Policy and the Role of the Reichsarbeitsministerium, 1933-1945

Chair: Elizabeth Harvey, University of Nottingham
Participants: Jane Caplan, University of Oxford; Andreas Gestrich, GHIL; Matthew Jones, London School of Economics (LSE); Sandrine Kott, University of Geneva; Kiran Klaus Patel, Maastricht University/GHIL/LSE

Venue: German Historical Institute London

This event is part of a bigger project on the same issue. It is organised by professor Kiran Klaus Patel as the 2014/15 Gerda Henkel Visiting professor at the German Historical Institute London and the London School of Economics.

Since the late 19th century, German officials and experts had heralded their models of labor and social policies internationally. During the Weimar Republic, the newly established Reichsarbeitsministerium turned into the guardian and international promoter of German social policies and expertise. 1933 was no turning point in this respect: German actors remained part of international expert discourses, and while the Nazis assessed new schemes in Fascist Italy and elsewhere, they were also eager to promote their own programs abroad. This did not come to an end with the advent of World War Two either: instead, the war provided new opportunities and rationales to experiment with policies elsewhere, and to project Nazi labor and social policy ideas on other societies. Which of their ideas and schemes did the Nazis promote internationally? In how far did such policies continue earlier practices from the Weimar Republic or even the Kaiserreich? What was the role of racism and violence in this context? How did non-Germans react, and what was their room for manoeuvre?

12 January 2015 (5pm)

Book Launch: “Popular Musical Theatre in London and Berlin, 1890-1939”, edited by Len Platt, Tobias Becker and David Linton, Cambridge University Press 2014.

Venue: Court Room at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Panel discussion with the editors, Dominic Symonds (University of Lincoln), Vivienne Richmond (Goldsmiths University of London), chaired by Imke Henkel (Die Zeit), organized by the DFG/AHRC-project Popular Musical Theatre in London and Berlin, 1890-1939, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.

In the decades before the Second World War, popular musical theatre was one of the most influential forms of entertainment. This is the first book to reconstruct early popular musical theatre as a transnational and highly cosmopolitan industry that included everything from revues and operettas to dance halls and cabaret. Bringing together contributors from Britain and Germany, this collection moves beyond national theatre histories to study Anglo-German relations at a period of intense hostility and rivalry. Chapters frame the entertainment zones of London and Berlin against the wider trading routes of cultural transfer, where empire and transatlantic song and dance produced, perhaps for the first time, a genuinely international culture. Exploring adaptations and translations of works under the influence of political propaganda, this collection will be of interest both to musical theatre enthusiasts and to those interested in the wider history of modernism.

Download flyer (PDF file)